I hate that feeling of being at the register checking out after I do my monthly or bi-monthly shopping. I dread the number that’s going to pop up on the little register screen because I know it’s going to be ridiculously high. It can be daunting to keep up with ever rising prices for groceries, clothes, etc. That’s why I love coupons. Outside of coupons, there are a couple of other ways you can save at the store as well. Here are a few tips to reducing that crazy number when you checkout.
- Match Your Coupons to Current Sales – Most grocery stores or stores in general, will still allow you to use a coupon with an item that’s currently on sale. Make your grocery list, stack your coupons, and make a note of the sale papers. Time your shopping trip to match the sales and you will be floored at how much you save. My friend once did an $800 trip to the store and paid $30.
- Use Coupon Apps – A lot of stores have their own app for current coupons—online or in-store coupons. Often times, if you didn’t plan your trip, you can either use that store’s app or a coupon app while you’re shopping. Just type in your specific item or the brand and see if anything pops up. Worth the few seconds of searching.
- Scan Your Receipt After You Purchase – Apps such as the Walmart app will allow you to scan your receipt after you finish shopping and they will find the current sales for those items at other stores in your area. They will then refund you the amount you would have saved had you price matched the item. There are some catches to these apps, such as, the money Walmart returns can only be spent at Walmart. So, be sure to read all the details with each app.
- Price Match – Most stores will price match other stores in your area. Just grab a sale paper for the other stores in your area and check for the items you’re buying. If they’re cheaper in the paper, simply show them to the checkout person and they will adjust the price for you.
- Buy Things in Season – This mainly goes for items such as produce. Produce is often half the price in season as it is out of season. Plus, produce is usually not as tasty when it’s out of season.
- Buy Things Out of Season – If you’re up for it, buying things such as holiday specific items can be cheaper right after the holiday. If you really want to cut down on holiday costs (we all know they’re usually a fortune) then plan for next year’s holiday during the current holiday. Food is difficult to buy that far in advance but presents and décor isn’t. Right after each holiday, all the leftovers go on sale starting at 50% off and only get cheaper the farther away from the holiday it gets. Eventually, they will remove the holiday items so be sure to get them while you can.
- Use Points Cards – Walgreens is my favorite for this one but I know a ton of other stores use this system as well. If they have the option for collecting points towards discounts, use them. They don’t cost anything and all you have to do is have the cashier scan it every time you checkout. These points add up quickly. I get $5 off all the time at Walgreens just for having them scan my card so the points from the purchase are counted. Definitely worth the minimal effort it takes.
- Break Up the Transaction – Sometimes stores will have coupons that allow you to get $5 off $25 or $5 off $35, etc. If you’re able to, break up the transaction so you can use more than one coupon to save even more. I often have to do multiple transactions anyways to keep business and personal separate.